Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Gratuitous Brunette: Guy Pearce

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketEnglish-born, Australian-raised Guy Pearce appeared on both Neighbours and Home and Away before bursting into the public eye in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, in which he was a little too convincing as angertwink Adam (aka Felicia JollyGoodFellow). Not that there's anything wrong with that.

His American career since has been hit-and-miss: L.A. Confidential - hit, The Time Machine - miss. Such is the way with Hollywood films, where hundreds of millions are spent on special effects, and screenplays are scribbled on napkins. Not that I'm bitter.

Pearce always has Australia to fall back on*; between his more high-profile appearances he returns home to make indie films and appear on stage.

*Even though I'm sure Australia would prefer he'd fall forward on them - I know I wouldn't mind!

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Pop History Moment: The October Crisis Begins

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketOn this day in 1970 terrorists with the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) kidnapped British Trade Commissioner James Cross from his diplomatic home on Redpath Crescent in the Mount Royal neighbourhood of Montreal (shown at left). Their demands included the release of several of their fellow terrorists from jail and the reading of the FLQ Manifesto on television.

Although the FLQ had been founded in the early 1960s along Marxist lines their attacks, principally in the form of bombings, culminated in a February 1969 attack on the Montreal Stock Exchange which injured 27. Between 1963 and 1970 the FLQ were responsible for 200 violent actions including bombings, bank robberies, and kidnappings, resulting in 5 deaths, including a Quebec cabinet minister. They are also thought to be behind a series of riots at McGill University later that summer.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketWhat followed the kidnapping of James Cross (shown, at right, in a photo staged by the FLQ; Cross actually spent most of his captivity wearing a hood) is known in Canadian history as the October Crisis, at the height of which Mayor Jean Drapeau of Montreal and Premier Robert Bourassa of Quebec asked Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to invoke the War Measures Act. This act gave the military extraordinary powers of arrest.

The name 'October Crisis' is something of a misnomer, as the situation wasn't entirely cleared up for years, although the last significant members of the FLQ were taken into custody at the end of December 1970, 24 days after James Cross was released unharmed.
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POPnews - October 5th

[Once the women of Paris' Third Estate arrived at Palace of Versailles they began to clamour for the queen, Marie Antoinette, to appear. She did appear, at first with her two children Marie-Thérèse and younger brother Louis-Charles, then later stood alone on a balcony with muskets and cannon pointed at her for ten minutes, until her husband agreed to move the Royal Family back to the Tuileries Palace. The queen's stoic demeanour throughout, it is said, likely prevented a far worse tragedy from occurring.]

610 CE - Byzantine Emperor Heraclius was crowned.

869 CE - The Fourth Council of Constantinople was convened to decide about what to do about Patriarch Photius of Constantinople.

1550 - Pedro de Valdivia founded the city of Concepción, Chile.

1789 - During the French Revolution Parisian women undertook a march on Versailles to confront King Louis XVI about his refusal to promulgate decrees on the abolition of feudalism, demand bread, and have the King and his entire court returned to Paris.

1877 - Chief Joseph surrendered his Nez Perce band to General Nelson A. Miles.

1886 - The South African city of Johannesburg was established after gold was discovered nearby; today it is Africa's only global city, and the richest metropolitan district in Africa.

1903 - Sir Samuel Griffith was appointed the first Chief Justice of Australia, and Sir Edmund Barton and Richard O'Connor were appointed as foundation justices.

1910 - Portugal abolished the monarchy of Manuel II and established the First Republic, which held until a coup in May 1926; during the period of chaos which followed, the Estado Novo and - after 1933 - the Ditadura Nacional were established under António de Oliveira Salazar.

1945 - A six month strike by Hollywood set decorators turned into a bloody riot at the gates of Warner Bros. studios on what came to be known as Hollywood Black Friday.

1947 - President Harry S Truman delivered the first televised national address from the White House, apparently.

1968 - A civil rights march in the Northern Ireland city of Londonderry ended in violence.

1969 - The first episode of the famous comedy show Monty Python's Flying Circus aired on BBC.

1970 - PBS became a network.

1974 - The Guildford pub bombing, carried out by the IRA, left 5 dead and 65 injured.

1984 - Marc Garneau became the first Canadian in space, aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger.

1988 - The Chilean opposition coalition Concertación (center-left) defeated Augusto Pinochet in his re-election intentions.

1993 - On the final day of the Russian Constitutional Crisis, tanks bombarded Moscow's White House, a government building housing the Russian parliament, while demonstrators against President Boris Yeltsin rallied outside.

1999 - West London's Ladbroke Grove rail crash killed 31 people.

2000 - Mass demonstrations in Belgrade - now called the Bulldozer Revolution - forced the resignation of Slobodan Milošević.
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